The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Club brings Hawaii to Notre Dame

Grace McCormack | Monday, April 8, 2013

Stepan Center heated up Saturday night with Hawaii Club’s annual Lu’au celebration of Hawaiian culture.

The event featured Hawaiian food, music and hula dancing amidst an extensively decorated arena, freshman club member and Hawaiian nativeMatt Matasci said.

“Parents back home pick flowers and have them sent [for decorations],” he said.

Parents of natives also sent Hawaiian shirts and necklaces for the Lu’au’s merchandise table, Matasci said.

The efforts of the club members and their parents did not go unnoticed at the Lu’au.

“It’s a great atmosphere,” junior attendee Tony Lefeld said. “Stepan Center is surprisingly well decorated.”

Sophomore Camille Muth, secretary of the club, said the key function of Hawaii Club is to provide a supportive community for Hawaiian students making the tough transition from tropical sunshine to blustery permacloud.

“This is one of those groups that really makes me feel at home here,” Muth said.

The club forms its close bonds by recruiting members early, she said. The club holds meetings for incoming freshman the summer before they begin at Notre Dame to welcome them to the club and the University.

These extensive efforts have translated into strong membership.

“Most people from Hawaii tend to join the club,” Matasci said. “There are some things that you can’t understand unless you’re from Hawaii. It’s nice to have people from Hawaii to relate to.”

Although the Lu’au is the club’s largest event, Muth said the Hawaii Club will continue to be a fun outlet for Hawaiian students on campus.

“We all just get along really well, and have fun no matter what we’re doing,” she said.